New kit a gamechanger for Central Otago


Central Otago roading crews have successfully trialled a new piece of kit to support preventative maintenance activities in their district.

Aspiring Highways, which maintains the highways for Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, has introduced the Jet Patcher to its 2022/2023 maintenance programme with significant results.

Waka Kotahi Senior Network Manager Robert Choveaux describes it as a game changer.

“This is innovation in action and the results in treating and preventing edge-break in one season have been outstanding.

“It was our number one defect, but this new piece of machinery has allowed our roading contractors to not only get on top of the defect but do it in a way that has drastically improved the safety outcomes associated with this type of work.  That is a gamechanger for us.”

Aspiring Highways leased the machine from Central Otago Machinery Services for the trial which ended earlier in May.

The machine produces its own warm mix repair material which is then applied to the road from controls inside the cab of the truck.

Waka Kotahi Maintenance Contract Manager Peter Standring says the safety benefits cannot be ignored.

“All operations have the support of a tail vehicle for traffic control.  But, apart from the obvious operational efficiency, it also eliminates the need for crews to work on the ground near live traffic lanes.  This not only improves safety but allows staff to focus on other aspects of road reserve maintenance.” 

Aspiring Highways engineer Gerard Williams describes it as the “ideal fit” for maintenance type activities.

It is capable of performing minor road repairs such as potholes and edge-break, as well as small scale chipseal and asphalt applications. The first field trials followed significant flooding in winter 2022 – when multiple potholes popped up across the district.

“As a team there are multiple benefits to using this new piece of kit in addition to safety. In relation to sustainability, it only uses the product it needs so waste material isn’t an issue. It can do various repair jobs in one single run and is more efficient than sending out a whole crew to one small site.”

The team plan to introduce the versatile vehicle into a range of other seal repair activities across the network in future.

The Jet Patcher truck was developed in Australia where similar machines are used and further afield, for all forms of seal repair.

Here is the Jet Patcher in action in Central Otago: